What is a personal health budget?

A personal health budget is an amount of money to support a person’s individual health and wellbeing needs, planned and agreed between the person and their local NHS team.  It is a tool to support personalisation. 

At the centre of the personal health budget is a care and support plan. This sets out the agreed health and wellbeing outcomes that the person wants to achieve and how the budget will be spent to support this.


More choice and control

The aim of a personal health budget is to give people more choice and control over the money spent on meeting their health and wellbeing needs.

Personal health budgets support the vision of a more personalised, patient-focused NHS.  NHS England's website has more information and advice about this. 


Who can have a personal health budget?

People eligible for NHS continuing health care (CHC) (including children and young people eligible for continuing care) have the right to have a personal health budget. 

During 2016/17 and beyond, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will be supporting a broader expansion in the offer and delivery of personal health budgets to people where evidence indicates they could benefit.  PHB Local Offer and FAQs.

As a minimum, anyone expressing an interest in a personal health budget will be entitled to a personalised care conversation to discuss whether their needs could be met differently, resulting in a new or revised personalised care plan.  


Children and young people

For children and young people (birth to 25) with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), a Personal Health Budget is likely to form part of a Personal Budget for their Education, Health and Care Plan.

More information about this is available on the Swindon Borough Council website.


What can a personal health budget be spent on?

Everyone with a personal health budget can get support to think through how they would like to use their budget to meet their health and wellbeing needs.

It is the responsibility of the local NHS team to advise people, and recommend a range of organisations who can offer local support. This is often described as brokerage.

A personal health budget can be spent on any care or services that are set out in the care and support plan that has been put together and agreed with the NHS team or organisation working with the person.  The care and support plan should explore what the person needs, including assessing their health and care needs, focus on identified outcomes and how these can be met.  This care and support plan must be agreed by the CCG.


Co-production and changing the conversation

One of the central aims of personal health budgets is to enable people to play an active role in managing their health. This can also be described as co-production, or in other words, working together with health professionals as an equal partner, deciding together how best to achieve the goals you want to meet your health and wellbeing needs. 

This may lead to people using their budgets in more innovative ways rather than relying on services that the NHS would normally provide.

In order to enable people to play an active role in managing their health this requires a change in how conversations are held with you.


What a personal health budget doesn't cover

There are things that a personal health budget cannot fund such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling or debt repayment, or anything that is illegal.

A personal health budget cannot be used to buy emergency care, for example, if someone in receipt of a personal health budget had an accident, they would go to A&E like everyone else - they would not use their personal health budget to arrange this.

A personal health budget cannot buy primary care services such as seeing a GP or dental treatment. Other services recommended by a GP, like physiotherapy, could be included.


What is changing?

It is our aim to support as many people as possible to create a personal health budget.  However, not all requests will be successful as a personal health budget might not meet your needs.  


Integrated Personal Commissioning

Integrated personal commissioning (IPC) is a new approach to person centered care; joining up health and social care for people with complex needs.  It aims to bring health and social care together, identifying the totality of expenditure at the level of the individual, giving individuals more control over how this is used.  

For more information visit www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/ipc/


If you are interested in a personal health budget – what should you do?

The first step is to talk to your NHS team about your request.  Contact details for the team are below.

Further information can be found on the NHS Choices website.



Continuing Healthcare Team

Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group

The Pierre Simonet Building

North Swindon Gateway

North Latham Road

Swindon   SN25 4DL

Tel: 01793 683748

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.